Monday. Sun. Snow in the future. Freeze-thaw dirt. =(

Posted by
 February 23, 2015

The Mt. Hood forecast for today and tomorrow is an easy one: more sunshine mixed with a few clouds. But the forecast for the few days after that is quite complex, interesting, and therefore difficult to spell out in a precise manner. The wrench in the gears is, as it often happens, the path of an incoming low pressure system. The system is coming, but its path determines the temp and amount of precip. In addition, the GFS and Euro are far, far apart in precip amounts. Anyway, read on. Continued below the chart…

Mt. Hood Snow Forecast – 5000′
4a-8a 8a-12p 12p-4p 4p-8p 8p-4a
The day after

Today will be sunny on Mt. Hood with some high clouds possible in the afternoon. The free air freezing level (FAF) will be at the surface early, rising to 7000-8000′ this afternoon. 5000′ temps will max out around 40 degrees today. If that really happens, and if the wind dies down as forecast, it’s going to be epic spring skiing this afternoon. Wind will be NE 30 early and NE 10 this afternoon.

Tomorrow starts off cloudy, likely becomes clear midday, and then becomes high overcast or partly cloudy in the afternoon. The free air freezing level tomorrow will be around 9000′ all day with 5000′ temps maxing out in the low 40’s. Wind will be NW 20 early, NW 15 midday, and WNW 35 in the afternoon.

Wednesday starts out clear, but cloudy move in midday. The snow level will be 5500′ early and 3000′ in the afternoon. Snow flurries start around 10pm, with .1-.2” water value by 4am for up to 2” of new snow. Wind on Wednesday will be NW 15-20 all day.

The general picture for Thursday is precip. Models suggest temps will be borderline, hovering right around or above freezing at 5000′. That said, I’m leaning toward snow given the currently forecast storm path. The GFS and Euro both say around .5” water 4am-4pm Thursday, giving us a couple inches of wet snow at 5000′. After that, the GFS brings some precip and the Euro brings in a lot more precip Friday (when temps will definitely be cold enough to support snow). That is, of course, a very broad-brush picture. The details will become more clear in a day or two.

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Gorge Wind

There’s a bit of an easterly gradient across the Gorge this morning, but it’s not having a huge presence on the river. Our gradient is .11, and you can expect E 25-30 at Rooster this morning and 18-23 at Steven’s Locks, backing off to 15-18 this afternoon.

Tomorrow starts out light and variable, but an incoming, very weak, weather system will turn the wind to westerly mid-morning. Expect gusty 22-25+ from Steven’s Locks to Mosier by 10am (there’s a pretty good chance I’m undercalling this) with gusty 25-29 from Lyle to Maryhill, filling in to Arlington late in the afternoon. Wednesday looks like a Corridor day, with 23-26 in the Swell-Mosier arenas and 20-23 at Steven’s Locks. The south coast joins the fun on Wednesday with 30-40.

Random Morning Thoughts

I got a text from a friend this morning asking me to calculate the wet bulb temperature at the base of Meadows. “Why,” you may ask, “would anyone send such an obscure text?” Well, because he’s in charge of the snow guns at this time of day, and he wanted to know if we could still be running them, even though the air temp was up to 31 degrees.

His answer was yes, because it’s really freakin’ dry out there today. 27% relative humidity at Meadows this morning, giving a wet bulb of 26 degrees. Yeah, keep making snow. Wet bulb temp, in case you are a total dork like me and are finding this interesting, is the temperature a parcel of air would reach if it were brought to 100% humidity (saturation) by the injection of water.

That’s how we make snow, peeps, by taking advantage of that process. You can dork out on wet-bulb here over your morning coffee. I, of course, hit the Google with “home snow-making equipment” after calculating the wet bulb in Hood River to be 26 degrees…

Gorge Weather Forecast

I just walked outside barefoot to check the sky coverage. I knew it was 20-something degrees outside, and I did this despite that knowledge. My feet are cold now. Expect a sunny day today with just a few high clouds in the afternoon. Temps will be in the upper 20’s early and the low 50’s this afternoon. Tomorrow stars off clear and cold with temps in the upper 20’s. Some high clouds move in during the afternoon and temps climb to the mid 50’s. Expect clear sky Wednesday morning with clouds in the afternoon and a few sprinkles late in the evening. Temps Wednesday will be in the upper 30’s early and the low 50’s in the afternoon. Expect rain and rainbows both Thursday and Friday.

White Sprinter Van of the Day


Road and Mountain Biking

I got a report from the Whoopdee yesterday that says it’s a slimy freeze-thaw mess. So, don’t ride the Whoopdee today. Also, it was in the 20’s when I wrote this report this morning, which means Syncline, Hospital Hill (Millenium and Sidehill, especially) and exposed areas of Post Canyon will have the same problem. If you’re riding today, try to do it under the trees, please. If you are a road biker interested in Lost Lake or Vista, I’m going to suggest you ride them before Friday, as snow levels will likely be low enough to make those rides go away at the end of the week.

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Upcoming Events

Tonight at 5:30, there’s Aikido class at Trinity in Hood River at 5:30pm. There’s community yoga at the Mt. Hood Town Hall at 6pm today and at 6:30pm at Yoga Samadhi. This Thursday night, the 26th, there’s a free avalanche awareness clinic at Dog River Coffee with Ranger Jimmy T. I believe that’s at 6:30pm.

Have an awesome day today!